STERLING - Ben Jones, Sterling, attended the March meeting of the State Board of Education and that solidified his idea to seek a seat on the board.

Hutchinson Republican Ken Willard is finishing his fourth term on the board and is not running for re-election in District 7. Lindsborg Republican Robert D’Andrea filed earlier this year to run. Jones also is a Republican.

The primary election is Aug. 7. No Democrat has filed.

Jones currently is self-employed with a courier service and also is a musician. He operates his own voice studio in Sterling and is an assistant debate/forensics coach at Sterling High School, a press release said. He is vice president of the Rice County Historical Society and a member of the board of directors for Family Community Theatre in Hutchinson.

Jones described himself as an avid believer in fairness and equality and said he will fight for students in urban areas just as hard as he will fight for students in the rural area.

Regarding school security, Jones said: "I will take an active role in working with our schools and emergency management experts to stay ahead of the curve and find the balance between security and accessibility."

The idea of running for the Board of Education came up in a conversation in February, Jones told The News.

“And then I spent about a month talking to various people about it,” he said. He attended the State Board of Education meeting in March to help him decide if he wanted to run. In April, he filed campaign finance documents with the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission.

He is calling his campaign “Crusade for Kansas Kids” and his campaign release said he will be kids’ champion, “regardless of who they are and where they are located.”

There are 10 seats on the State Board of Education, and half of the seats are up for election this year. Winners will get four-year terms.